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The Venen
The peat moor and lake district of the Venen (peat moors) is situated in the Groene Hart (Green Heart) of The Netherlands, where the provinces of Utrecht and North Holland meet. Three quarters of the area is dedicated to agriculture. In addition to this, the Vinkeveense Plassen (Vinkeveen lakes) and the Botshol nature reserve are the true gems of this landscape.

De Vinkeveense Plassen
These man-made lakes were created as a result of peat cutting activities in the past. These days, the lakes are a firm favourite with all kinds of water sports enthusiasts such as sailors, surfers, canoeists and other pleasure craft enthusiasts who all find what they are looking for here. But anglers, divers, swimmers, sunbathers and nature and culture lovers will also not be disappointed in this lake district.

More information:
Recreatieschap Vinkeveense Plassen (Leisure authority of the Vinkeveen lakes)

Botshol Nature Reserve
Don't miss out on the Botshol nature reserve, open for exploration by adventurous spirits by rowing boat. Botshol is a nature reserve, owned by Natuurmonumenten (nature reserve management organisation), where peat moorlands, reed-land, swamp forest, grebes and water lilies take centre stage. There are numerous rare plants to be admired and Botshol is the natural habitat of animals you will not find anywhere else. Between 1 April and 15 June (breeding season) the reserve is not accessible. After this, it can only be accessed by rowing boat, individually or by joining one of the Natuurmonumenten excursions which depart from the work barn of Botshol in Waterveen every Wednesday and Saturday morning at 10 am, Botsholsedijk 30-32.
VVV De Ronde Venen or Excursion line Noord West Natuurmonumenten, tel. 035-6951315.
Rowing boat hire:
C. Verweij, Botsholsedijk 14, 3645 CJ tel. 0297-582549;
A. Jansen, Botsholsedijk 3, 3645 CJ tel. 0294-284836.

Diving in Vinkeveen
On the 22 June 1999, the lakes council, the general management of the leisure authority of the Vinkeveen lakes, approved a number of measures to regulate diving off sand island 4 in the Vinkeveen lakes. The main aims of the measures are to improve the safety of the divers, to improve the use of the leisure island and to increase the quality of diving in the area in general.
It was decided:

  • to establish a no-boating zone off the shore of the sand island;
  • that it is illegal to engage in diving off the sand island without a permit.

A permit is granted to anyone who holds a valid diving certificate issued by NOB (Dutch underwater sports association), PADI, IDD or any organisation which the general management considers to be of equal standing. Those taking lessons with a diving school or association which is registered with the leisure authority also qualify for a permit. The diving permit only applies to the shore area which borders directly on the diving zone.
You have the choice of two permits. The first is an annual permit which is valid for the duration of the calendar year of application. The second permit is valid for a period of five years after the application date. You, yourself, are responsible for keeping an eye on the permit's period of validity. Annual permits are also available at the Aquabusinesscenter, Baambrugse Zuwe 143b in Vinkeveen.
source: Recreatieschap Vinkeveense Plassen (Leisure authority of the Vinkeveen lakes)

Het Veenmuseum "In de Veenen"
The Veenmuseum "In de Veenen" (moor museum)
Peat cutting in this area resulted in the creation of the Vinkeveense Plassen (Vinkeveen lakes). How this was done is brought to life in detail in the atmospheric Veenmuseum (moor museum). Maps and pictures illustrate the life and work of the peat cutters who contributed in such a major way to the creation of these lakes.
In de Venen, Herenweg 240, 3645 DW Vinkeveen, tel. 0297-262223,

Fort Waver-Amstel
The Waver-Amstel fort, a part of the Defence Line of Amsterdam, is situated in this area. The Defence Line is a 135 km long defensive ring around the capital which was built between 1880 and 1920 by the Ministry of War. This Defence Line is on the UNESCO World Heritage list and is being restored by the Stichting Herstelling(renovation foundation).
Fort Waver-Amstel, Waverdijk 19, Waverveen, tel. 0297-582578
Wine shop with area which is available for hire by groups.
Photo: Jan Blankestein

Wilnisser Veenmolen (Moor Mill)
Open to the public every Saturday from 10:00 am - 04:00 pm hours.
Inquiries millers:
Adri Vos, tel. 020-6965848, mobile: 06-28685106,
John de Bruin, tel. 035-5240484, mobile: 06-22888961,